always together by sachi desu@gaia
So it happened again this morning. To be honest, I guess I should be used to it by now. I mean, this is only like the twenty-sixth time--
I'm always doing this to myself. I hate it, having to be so careful. I mean, there's so much I want to say, but it's not like I ever get the chance.
You don't let yourself have the chance, Gwen. I keep telling you, you need to be more--
No, see, Leon always turns away whenever she sees me now. Even if I wanted to talk to her, she wouldn’t give me the chance. She used to be okay with me, but now...I'm not ignorant--I can tell she's avoiding me--and see, I could be okay with that if I knew why she keeps doing that. I mean, well, I guess there're plenty of reasons why. Maybe it's because of my haircut. Or maybe it's because of the way I keep apologizing. People say that's annoying. Oh, or maybe it's because she doesn't like the way I don't speak. Lots of people don't like that--they don't like the quiet girl who only speaks when spoken to. They don't like the effort they have to put in to a conversation. D-do you think that's why?
First of all, that haircut was almost three months ago. Second of all, you're not annoying. You're thoughtful. Maybe a little too thoughtful, but that's not a bad thing, Gwen. And third of all, negativity. Again.
It's your nature, I suppose.
Even if that's true, I want to change. I look at all those other girls and I always wonder if they, you know, practice. I-I mean, the way they smile, and the way they come up with the right words at the right times, and the way they...do just everything right. They make it look so easy! Why does it come so naturally to them? And not to me?
…I'm just always so scared. I don't want to say too much or say the wrong thing, because that always hurts people. So I keep quiet and safe and to myself, but…but then I end up getting hurt. And--well, nobody wants to be hurt. I mean--well--sure, maybe some people do, but...I don't want to get hurt.
You don't need to become those girls, you know. It's not an either-or situation. It's a spectrum--Gwen on one end, and other people on the other. You don't need to get all the way over there. Being in the middle is just fine.
You always tell me, but I can never do it. Sorry.
How do people get so strong? Is it some invisible external armor that builds up year after year? Or maybe it's something genetic, or something you have to learn when you're young.
Maybe this is what I was meant to be--a foil to everyone else. The quiet wallpaper that adds depth to a room. The movie extra staring off in the distance when the camera pans by. The person that slinks along the shadows and is only noticeable because she is so unnoticeable.
Look at Leon. She’s always so outgoing and talkative. She’s not afraid of anything--you can just tell that about her. I guess it makes sense--why she’s drifting away like this. I mean, you can only spend so long staring at wallpaper peeling off a wall before it gets boring, right?
Not that it’s particularly interesting to begin with.
I don’t know…I think it’s pretty exciting.
You don’t really mean that…
Leon’s exciting. She’s got that natural light that draws people to her like moths. People smile at her when she passes--
That’s usually because she smiles at them first. And asks them how their cell phone works.
But they never get upset or annoyed when she bothers them like that. It’s her…I don’t know. Her aura or something, I guess. She’s got that whole…innocent vibe going on, like some three-year-old. People can’t help but like her. But I’m…I’m just…
Whatever. She’s strong, I’m not. I can…I can deal with that, I guess.
W-wait! I-I’m not blaming her or anything, though! She’s the way she is, I’m the way I am. It’s not her fault I’m a wimpy, stupid piece of--
Negativity. Put down the shovel and get out of the hole, Gwen.
It’s a metaphor. Don’t be so hard on yourself.
Oh. Sorry. I didn’t get it.
At any rate, strength isn’t measured by sociability. There’re all kinds of strength; yours is just a quieter strength. And just because it’s quiet doesn’t mean it’s weak—in fact, you're the strongest girl--
I know. The strongest girl you know. But you haven't exactly gotten to know too many girls, have you? I'm sure if you could get inside of someone else, you'd change your opinion. Just choose anyone off the street. I bet they'll be a much better person than I could ever be. A lot stronger. More confident. More optimistic. None of this weak uncertainty. You wouldn't have to deal with any of this--won't have to play shrink to the little, insecure girl. You could spend your time doing--I don't know--whatever you wanted.
Have you heard me complaining? I haven't heard me complaining. You can never be sure what people--or aliens--feel unless you talk to them. The more you assume, the worse you'll feel. And, just watch, half the time things won't be nearly as terrible as you believe they are. It just takes a few words. A little conversation. Like this. You do it with me every day. Try it with others.
It's different with you. I can't not talk to you. And you're not like most other people. I don't worry as much about hurting--oh, I mean--well, I do worry, but--uh, I mean--I don't mean it in a mean way--I mean, I care about your feelings but--I mean--
I understand. Breathe, Gwen.
Ahhh...I wish everyone understood me like you do. It'd make things a lot easier. I wouldn't have to worry about hurting them, or saying the wrong thing, or offending them.
You can't offend them if you don't speak at all.
Well, that's my point. That's why I keep my mouth shut--so there's not a chance I'll offend them. Like with Leon--she's probably avoiding me because I said something. Or did something. If I just kept quiet and kept still, I wouldn't have to worry about this!
It's my fault.
Sorry. But it is! I probably did something by accident, and it made her upset or angry or something, and now she’s avoiding me like this.
I hurt people. And then they leave.
Did you hear that? Wasn’t that the bell?
I should get to class, I guess. I don’t--I don’t want to run into anyone though. I’ll stay here for a bit. W-wait, but then when I go in, I’ll have to walk in front of everyone…
Maybe I’ll just skip class today. Skip all of my classes.
Gwen, you’re not spending the rest of your day hiding in a bathroom stall. Get up. Get to class.
One foot in front of the other, Gwen. That’s how we all get through life.
…I know. I just…I just don’t want to end up alone. I’m afraid I’ll fade away if I’m alone. There’ll be nothing left of me.
But Gwen…that's why I’m here, inside of you. Always with you.